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HitchBOT: Hitchhiking Robot Destroyed Beyond Repair in Philadelphia

Image: HitchBOT: Hitchhiking Robot Destroyed Beyond Repair in Philadelphia
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By    |   Monday, 03 Aug 2015 11:57 AM

HitchBOT, a robot built by Canadian college researchers and programmed to hitchhike across the continent, met its demise in Philadelphia, where it was destroyed beyond repair Saturday.

David Smith, of McMaster University, and Frauke Zeller, of Ryerson University, who are referred to as hitchBOT's guardians, posted a message on the robot's website announcing that its travels were over. They'd hoped that strangers could lead the robot to San Francisco.

"Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia," the website message stated. "We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over. For now we will focus on the question 'what can be learned from this?'"

"We have no interest in pressing charges or finding the people who vandalized hitchBOT; we wish to remember the good times, and we encourage hitchBOT's friends and fans to do the same," the message continued.

As part of an experiment to see how humans interact with robots, hitchBOT had in the past safely experienced cross-country journeys through Canada, Germany, and a three-week vacation in the Netherlands, wrote Time magazine. The United States, though, proved to be another story.

"Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends," read a message from hitchBOT on its website. "I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends."

During its U.S. travels, hitchBOT had made it to Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City before his demise in the City of Brotherly Love.



Zeller told The Associated Press that she was most concerned about young fans of the robot who followed hitchBOT on social media and did not plan to release a photo of its destroyed body that someone sent to them.

"I hope that people won't be too disappointed, too sad," Zeller told the AP.

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HitchBOT, a robot built by Canadian college researchers and programmed to hitchhike across the continent, met its demise in Philadelphia, where it was destroyed beyond repair Saturday.
hitchbot, hitchhiking, robot, destroyed, philadelphia
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2015-57-03
Monday, 03 Aug 2015 11:57 AM
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